PepsiCo reportedly seeks grant for SodaStream plant expansion in the south

Globes: US drinks giant, which bought the carbonated water company in 2018, seeks to invest over $92.5 million in plant expansion and add 1,000 jobs

Shoshanna Solomon was The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Employees on an assembly line in SodaStream's Rahat factory on May 27, 2019. (courtesy SodaStream)
Employees on an assembly line in SodaStream's Rahat factory on May 27, 2019. (courtesy SodaStream)

PepsiCo has plans to expand a production plant of Israel-based carbonated water company SodaStream, which it acquired over a year ago, Globes financial website said, citing government sources familiar with the plans.

The US food and drinks giant is planning to expand SodaStream’s plant in the Idan Hanegev industrial park near Rahat, with an investment of over NIS 320 million ($92.5 million), the people familiar said. SodaStream will expand its workforce at the expanded plant to 1,000 new workers, who will join the current 1,500 workers at the plant, Globes said on Sunday.

SodaStream has applied for government backing for its investment, under the law for the Encouragement of Capital Investment, as it is an exporter operating in the south, in the country’s geographic and economic periphery.

SodaStream could get an NIS 80 million grant, accounting for 20% of the investment plan, plus tax benefits, Globes said.

The Economy and Industry Ministry, which is in charge of approving the grant, together with the Finance Ministry and the Israel Tax Authority, will hold a meeting next month to discuss the company’s request, Globes said.

PepsiCo bought SodaStream, which makes machines that carbonate home tap water, for $3.2 billion last  year. SodaStream’s former CEO, Daniel Birnbaum, who orchestrated the deal, in September was investigated for insider trading connected to the acquisition of the firm.

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